Monday, January 30, 2017

Morning, kikis!  

Well, Trump is president.

It’s real.

Reading the news is horrifying and my Facebook feed is giving me a heart attack and Trump just keeps signing more executive orders (the pipeline! Abortion! the ACA! the environment! Immigration! the wall! Refugees!) and I’m calling my senator and speaker and biting my nails to bits when the line is busy and the Women’s March was good but also very problematic and I love you all and I’m so sorry and terrified.

He’s been president for one week.

I’ve been curling up behind Samson, my huge Rottweiler roommate, lifting up one of his ears, and whispering “everything’s OK, no one can get you” regularly now since November, but this past week it got so bad I could hardly stop spooning him long enough to go to my job.

Besides hugging big dogs, you know what else is great for avoiding dealing with massive worry and a general sense of impending doom?


That’s how I’m dealing with my own Terror Level: Red, anyway.

A few times a week, when I’m not anxiously reading aloud particularly appalling news headlines to strangers on the bus, I come home from my day job, take a bath, shave until I resemble a baby seal competing for an oil-wrestling title, and then take my sweet time curling my hair and putting on makeup.

I really draw it out—I love getting ready. I can spend hours in my bathroom, listening to Dolly or Rihanna, sitting on the floor with my back up against the old iron radiator while I paint my nails, fussing in the mirror over whether my cat-eye liner is exactly identical on each side or just good enough so that no one would notice.
(OK but my soul would notice, I should wipe this off and start again.)

Then I go on a date. Sometimes it’s with someone brand-new-to-me, sometimes it’s with someone I’m—shall we say—getting more familiar with.

These dates usually go late, and if they go really well, they run so late that I cannot imagine how I’ll make it through the coming work day.

Then I go home, take a shower, go to sleep, and wake up at 6 a.m so I can squeeze an hour of writing into my morning before I go to work again.

I’ve found that if I do this often enough, I can stay in a continuous delirium of exhaustion and sex-induced haziness, and nothing—not work meetings held under fluorescent lights; not a searing awareness that no one’s rights matter except those of rich, white, cis men; not even the hellscape that is Day 7 of our current political regime during a slushy grey January in Minnesota—feels 100% real.

Is this what Peaches meant?

It works.

This probably isn’t the healthiest way to deal with stress, but it feels right, for now.

It doesn’t feel right for everyone, however.

Last weekend, after an extended ::cough cough:: session in bed, someone I’m dating sent me a series of concerned texts.

It seems that, after they returned home from our time together, their lower lip immediately began to swell to comical proportions, and their hand broke out in a gruesome red rash.

Their lip.
Their hand.

The only places that had come into contact with my ~holiest of holies~.

Eh. Maybe my date was mildly allergic to a perfume or a soap I’d used.

“Take a Benadryl,” I said, breezily certain that the skin pictures I was seeing over text were allergy-related and nothing to worry about.

Silly little rash.
Wee swollen lip.

I mean, my skin is so sensitive that even looking at a bottle of scented laundry detergent makes my neck erupt in a festive celebration of hives, so I think I know my way around a slight allergic reaction.

Text me when you’re dealing with real pain, lover.

The next day, I got the text:
The lip was worse. The hand rash was much worse.


I became alarmed.

Was this an allergic reaction? Was there a problem with my pH—had I suddenly become caustic? More basic?? Was this an STI? What was this?

It had to be from sex.
It had to be from sex with me.

I did what I always do when I have a question regarding my sexual health—plead for free answers from my queer crotch-doctor friend, Lola.

I explained the problem to Lola and puked all my worries onto her and sent over the rash pictures. 

She calmed me down immediately. 

Lola said she thought it was a clear case of bangover.

I was soothed, but not entirely.

My date miraculously got a doctor’s appointment right away, and went in. I was so nervous, sitting in my work cubicle, waiting for the diagnosis.

This was my fault, it had to be.

I was venomous. I was made of hot lava poison, I was Rogue from the X-Men—no one could touch me without dying.

Then my date sent me this:

Apparently, you can fuck too much.

The doctor had seen this before.
Dry winter air + very dry skin + spending too long banging the hell out of one another when perhaps *someone* hadn’t done a perfectly smooth job shaving = a friction/irritation rash on several of the body parts that had done a lot of, um, frictioning.

The moral of the story: moisturizer, y’all. And take some damn breaks.
And make a choice: either shave or don’t, but the in-between? in the winter months?
Don’t do anything rash.

I’m going to take things a bit easier for a few weeks, gays.

That shouldn’t be too difficult, because I am experiencing another Dating First: subtracting someone from your dating life.

How do you stop dating someone?
I honestly don’t know.

When I had a partner and was just fooling around with people, it was simple. If you didn’t want to fuxx anymore, you or the person in question just stopped answering.

The fade-out.
A few unanswered texts and it was done—you knew.

[via textsfromyourex]

But how do you stop seeing someone you’re friendly with and have been very casually dating for awhile?

It’s not “dumping”—it’s too early to call it dumping, as nothing serious or relationshippy has happened.

It’s also too rude to do the fade-out at this point—you were certainly mature enough to do *mature things* multiple times, so you’re probably mature enough to alert the person that you are henceforth uninterested in judging the art in their bathroom ever again.

We’re queer. This is Minneapolis.
I will for sure see whoever I stop dating again.

But do you call?

It’s 2017, who calls?

Do you text?

This feels unchill — what would that text look like?

You can borrow this to use as your breakup script if you want.

Do you arrange a date specifically to say you don’t want to date anymore?

This is too weird—the person who has no idea what’s happening will think this is a regular date because you want to keep dating, which is actually the opposite of what’s happening.

It feels like a trick.

Those are the only options I can think of for ceasing to date someone you’re casually and regularly sleeping with, and all of them seem unacceptable.

I will see any person I stop dating everywhere for years.
It is the gay curse.

I’m at a total loss here, lesbiqueers.
I can’t take any more carnage this week, either.

I hope you have a big dog or a warm person to hold onto in these dark days.

And if you have a great idea for how to respectfully and lovingly “break up” with someone you’re not even in a relationship with, do let a girl know, eh what?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Into the Great Wide Open

Hiya, deviants!

It’s been a strange holiday season.  

Strange and long.

It’s been so weird that on Tuesday, I was actually grateful to be back at my desk at work.

It was nice to be looking out the window at the sunshine on the snow, thinking, “What am I trading the precious and irreplaceable hours of my life for?” on a regular schedule again, coffee cup in hand.

I need structure in my life. A serious schedule.

Apparently, I need to be forced to wake up and go somewhere in -8 degree weather, to be strong-armed by capitalism into putting on clothes that are clean and could be seen by others.

Otherwise, I can’t be trusted to function. I’ll get hold of a long weekend and end up wearing the same pilled leggings for three days and watching Real World: Season 32 while tearing at a rotisserie chicken in the dark like a wolf.
[via pamlovesferrariboys]

Why were the last two weeks so weird?

I’m so glad you asked, faggettes!

Along with holiday-related things:

  • An intense windstorm ripped off my neighbor’s metal chimney cap in the middle of the night. I like to imagine it sailing gracefully through an arctic sky aglitter with stars before landing, in a freak coincidence, directly on my car’s rear windshield.

“It looks like a giant on meth took a crowbar to the back of this thing!” the woman at the insurance repair center chirped, examining my car. She poked playfully at the three-inch-deep crater in the metal under the windshield. “A chimney cap? How the heck could that even happen?”

I don’t know, Maggie.

She sent me into the waiting room to fill out forms. There was a mini-fridge filled with Diet Coke in there, but even the four cans I carefully put into my coat pockets didn’t make me feel better about paying the (shocking) deductible.

  • The New York Times published an article I wrote, in which I offered my hypothesis about where hipsters get their style from (hint: they steal it from us! aka the people that bring society many things worth having, including water-based lube and candid pictures of Holland Taylor and Sarah Paulson’s relationship.)

The NYT! Printed gay content I wrote!

  • I bought a bra and three pairs of underwear.

That last one—the bra—is actually the weirdest thing of all.

I bought undergarments.

It’s because I realized something in the last two weeks, sluts:

I have no idea how to date people.
At all.

I don’t know what “normal” behavior on a classic date—where both parties are single and interested in getting to know one another better—looks like.

I’ve always, always been in a relationship.
My first major relationship lasted 8 years, and it was open. Whenever I went on dates with new people, it was with my partner’s knowledge and permission. Anyone I went out with knew I had a partner at home who was OK with this arrangement.

My ~outings~ were usually implicitly designed around the idea that my date and I would both be DTF if the evening went well and we liked one another.

I used the internet. It was easy.

My second major relationship lasted 4 years, and it was monogamous for 3 of those years, so I didn’t date anyone else.

But now?

Dating is really confusing when you’re not just there to fuck.

How do people do this??

The underwear thing is what made me realize I know actually nothing about dating.

Ready for a backstory?


So: I don’t really...wear underwear on a day-to-day basis.

I don’t need it; I don’t understand what it's for.
For me, it’s like this extra layer of clothing that is totally unnecessary that also can really fuck with my outfit—pantylines are a real thing when all your clothes are spandex-blend dresses.

Now, please don't misunderstand: I love underwear on other people, and I love and own a lot of Structured Undergarments that I wear for the sole purpose of making myself feel like I'm wearing armor under my clothes when I go out.

But daily, regular underwear?

That’s too much, you can’t ask me to do that. I already take a shower every day and wear mascara, I’m exhausted.

Now that you know that:

I was telling Tawnya and her wife, Seven (I live with them), about an upcoming date I had the next night. They were asking me what I was gonna wear, and I was telling them about the planned dress and shoes.

Tawnya looked over at me from the table she was working at and said, “Yeah, but what about underwear?” (She knows me.) “Have you thought about it yet? What if you guys come back here and make out?”

“Why would it matter what underwear I’m wearing if we make out?” I asked.

Innocent as a lamb.
Newly new to this.

Seven looked hard at me. “Because what—you’re going to make out on the couch and it’s gonna get heated and your date is gonna maybe get into your clothes and find...nothing?”

“...Yes? So? I don’t wear bras or anything unless I’m at work,” I said.

I was getting alarmed.

Tawnya: So you’re telling me that if this date turns into a heavy makeout session, and maybe someone’s hands go into your pants, because you want them to, that what they’re going to find is...your naked crotch?? That’s like—that’s like skipping bases.

Seven: Yeah, that's like 0 to 100 real quick.

Me: Are you telling me that I should be wearing underwear to be polite to others?

Seven: No! You should do what you want. All I’m saying is, if I’m going into someone’s pants during a makeout, and it’s our first time making out, and there’s no underwear, it changes the energy a bit.

Tawnya: With underwear, you have another barrier. Something to play with. Time to think. Without underwear…

Seven: Decisions have to be made.

Tawnya: Exactly.

Me: [bleating] But I don’t have any underwear.

[Silence. Tawnya and Seven glance at each other.]

Seven: Are you serious.

Tawnya: She’s serious. She doesn’t.

Seven: Get your coat, we’re going to the mall.

And that is how I found myself stripped naked to the waist with my cackling roommates in a hot pink dressing room while a saleswoman who smelled aggressively of vanilla flung lacy “balconette” bras with matching thongs at me.

I was buying politeness underwear.
Underwear for dates.

I walked out of Victoria’s Secret (yes! my god) with a pair of pink “boyshorts”, a pair of black panties with a see-through mesh ass window, and a pair of black lace panties that matched a black lace bra that made my boobs look like two elegant, steep sledding hills.

I had to carry a big, pink-and-peach-striped Victoria’s Secret bag through the mall.

Everyone could see me.
Everyone knew.

An old man winked at me.

I’m still not OK.

I went on that date, you sluts.
And I wore my goddamn politeness underwear.

It was, I realized, my first-ever “classic” date—I’m fucking 33 years old, and this was the first time in my life I went on a date with a brand-new-to-me single person as a single person who did not have to factor having a partner into the equation.

The date went well.
We drove back to my house and sat in the car.

Things got a bit quiet and awkward. I didn’t know what to do.

We had just met that night! Were we supposed to kiss? How could I kiss someone I’d just met?!

It felt awfully fresh—cheeky, even.

“..OK, well...thanks,” I said, reaching for the door handle.

My date wanted to kiss, I think, but they weren’t initiating anything.

I wasn’t about to make things easier.
In my new life, I’m not helping people date me. If you want it, come get it, you know?

My date smiled, nervous.
“See you soon?” they said.

I touched their shoulder and opened the car door.

“See you soon,” I said, and walked into the house.

The first thing I did was take off that stupid underwear.

What else don’t I know about dating, gays?